Managing a garden when resources are short can be challenging. Watering lawns or your plants may not be at the top of your list if you’re experiencing a business or financial drought. However, it’s not always advisable to just let your garden die. An excellent solution for keeping the cost of watering down is to employ greywater for watering.
Greywater is the reasonably clean wastewater you produce from daily activities such as showering, washing dishes, or laundry. It is not tap-water, which is completely clean, filtered water that you can drink, but it is not black, contaminated wastewater produced by a toilet. Greywater can be stored and securely recycled for other uses, such as watering your plants or washing your car.
According to recent research, 70 percent of the water an average household uses for interior uses can be recycled as suitable greywater. Depending on the home, this can be enough to meet all of a household’s water needs.
This kind of wastewater usually contains some contaminants, such as food particles, dirt, detergent, or hair. The less grease and food, the better, so bathtub and shower water are the most sought-after, followed by water from utility sinks and clothes washers, kitchen sinks, and dishwashers.
Typically, the amount of contaminants is small enough for natural organisms in the soil to decay the impurities, mainly if you also use mulch or compost. However, it’s a good idea not to use greywater, particularly for irrigation. The best way is to rotate the use of greywater – or mix it – with freshwater, such as stored rainwater.
Collection can be as easy as putting a bucket in your sink or shower to catch water before it goes down the drain or as advanced as installing a system that siphons water from drain lines and passes it directly to the garden. Before installing a siphoning system, though, make sure that your intended system meets all municipal codes since some areas control wastewater disposal.
For safety, only use greywater on decorative plants, not on edible garden plants, such as herbs. And only use greywater on rooted plants, which can do a more reliable job decomposing pollutants than seedlings.